The American tobacco industry has hit back with a vengeance. Following President Clinton's announcement of wide ranging restrictions on cigarette advertising (Down To Earth, Vol 5, No 8), the industry has vowed to take the battle to the courts. And what is more, the White House has been forced to backtrack on its suggestion that cigarette makers be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to press secretary Mike McCurry, the President is amenable to an agreement on curbing sales to under-age smokers without bringing the industry under the FDA's control. The FDA's powers to ban hazardous products theoretically enables it to prohibit cigarette sales -- a prospect dreaded by the cigarettes manufacturers.